UK: GDPR: Data Protection And The Third Sector - It's Not All About Consensual Fundraising!

With GDPR looming, data protection is a 'hot topic' and over the last few months there have been a number of developments in this area (as outlined below) that will impact the Third Sector.

Much of the discussion around GDPR has focused on how charities use consent for donors in the context of fundraising - however understanding the new rules and how they apply to other areas of your organisations activities is equally as important; for example in your campaigns, how you deal with volunteer data, the extent to which you process and share data in your partnering arrangements with other organisations to deliver services or simply that you have employees and trustees – all of these areas will be impacted in some way by the GDPR.

1. ICO Guidance on Consent

The ICO's consultation on its draft GDPR consent guidance closed at the end of April and we eagerly await sight of the opinions. As currently drafted, the draft guidance summarises the following requirements for GDPR valid consent:

  • unbundled: consent requests must be separate from other terms and conditions;
  • active opt-in: use un-ticked opt-in boxes;
  • granular: give options to consent to different types of processing separately;
  • named: name your organisation and any third parties who will rely on the consent –precisely defined categories of third-party organisations will not be acceptable;
  • documented: keep records to demonstrate consent, including when and how the individual consented and what he/she was told;
  • withdraw: inform individuals of their right to withdraw consent at any time, and how to do this (it must be as easy to withdraw consent as it was to give it); and
  • balanced relationship: consent will not be freely given if there is imbalance in the relationship between the individual and the controller.

Charities should review the consent mechanisms used for all individuals related to the charity (e.g. service users, staff, donors, supporters, volunteers, trustees and partners) to decide whether consents should be 'refreshed' prior to May 2018. It is also important to remember that consent is not the only legal basis to process personal data.

For a fuller review of the ICO's draft guidance check out our recent blog series: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4 and how it may impact many areas of your organisations work.

2. e-Privacy

A new e-Privacy Regulation has been proposed which will overhaul the rules on privacy and electronic communications. The intention is to implement the e-Privacy Regulation along with the GDPR on 25 May 2018. The ePrivacy Regulation is still in draft form however below we have outlined some of the key changes expected:

  • territorial reach: applies to the processing of electronic communications carried out in connection with the provision of electronic communications services in the EU, irrespective of whether the actual processing takes place in the EU;
  • expanded scope: applies to providers of non-traditional services that run over the internet ("OTT" service providers) e.g. instant messaging providers, social media messaging, VOIP and web-mail.
  • cookies: non-privacy intrusive cookies that merely improve internet usage (e.g. to remember shopping cart history) will not require consent at all!;
  • marketing: default position of opt-in consent to all electronic marketing; and
  • enforcement: the penalties under the Regulation will greatly increase as they align with the higher GDPR fines (up to the higher of €20m or 4% of an organisation's total worldwide turnover).

The e-privacy changes are important for all Third Sector organisations as most will have a website or use social media to interact with supporters. Organisations should review their procedures and policies (especially cookie policies) to ensure compliance with the e-Privacy Regulation - and of course GDPR.

3. New Guidance on Fundraising

So it's not just all about consensual fundraising - but it is still relevant, and both the Fundraising Regulator and the IoF have issued guidance in recent months to assist charities in relation to GDPR and fundraising:

(1) The Regulator's guidance is focused on fundraising and the surrounding issues of consent, purpose and transparency. What can you learn from this guidance? – define the purposes for which your charity collects and uses personal information, and confirm which purposes are direct marketing; where you rely on consent define how you will obtain express consent and for how long consent will last; and ensure each data collection point contains a privacy notice. Most of the "take-aways" from the Fundraising Regulator's guidance are equally applicable to any processing your charity carries out in relation to personal data. In particular - defining the purposes for which your charity collects and uses personal information will be critical in any review that your organisation will carry out in relation to understanding how your charity will comply with the GDPR; without an understanding of what data your charity collects and the purposes for which the charity then uses it, it will be very difficult to make any assessment of where your charity requires to make changes to achieve GDPR compliance,

(2) The IoF's guidance on Fundraising and GDPR was issued earlier this month. This guidance helpfully sets out the GDPR essentials for fundraising organisations including top tips for preparation, the new rules around opt-in consent for direct marketing, and a summary of useful FAQs.

© MacRoberts 2017


The material contained in this article is of the nature of general comment only and does not give advice on any particular matter. Recipients should not act on the basis of the information in this e-update without taking appropriate professional advice upon their own particular circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

In association with
Up-coming Events Search
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Check to state you have read and
agree to our Terms and Conditions

Terms & Conditions and Privacy Statement (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd and as a user you are granted a non-exclusive, revocable license to access the Website under its terms and conditions of use. Your use of the Website constitutes your agreement to the following terms and conditions of use. Mondaq Ltd may terminate your use of the Website if you are in breach of these terms and conditions or if Mondaq Ltd decides to terminate your license of use for whatever reason.

Use of

You may use the Website but are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the content and articles available (the Content). You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these terms & conditions or with the prior written consent of Mondaq Ltd. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information about’s content, users or contributors in order to offer them any services or products which compete directly or indirectly with Mondaq Ltd’s services and products.


Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the documents and related graphics published on this server for any purpose. All such documents and related graphics are provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers hereby disclaim all warranties and conditions with regard to this information, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information available from this server.

The documents and related graphics published on this server could include technical inaccuracies or typographical errors. Changes are periodically added to the information herein. Mondaq Ltd and/or its respective suppliers may make improvements and/or changes in the product(s) and/or the program(s) described herein at any time.


Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including what sort of information you are interested in, for three primary purposes:

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, newsletter alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our information providers who provide information free for your use.

Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) do not sell or provide your details to third parties other than information providers. The reason we provide our information providers with this information is so that they can measure the response their articles are receiving and provide you with information about their products and services.

If you do not want us to provide your name and email address you may opt out by clicking here .

If you do not wish to receive any future announcements of products and services offered by Mondaq by clicking here .

Information Collection and Use

We require site users to register with Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to view the free information on the site. We also collect information from our users at several different points on the websites: this is so that we can customise the sites according to individual usage, provide 'session-aware' functionality, and ensure that content is acquired and developed appropriately. This gives us an overall picture of our user profiles, which in turn shows to our Editorial Contributors the type of person they are reaching by posting articles on Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) – meaning more free content for registered users.

We are only able to provide the material on the Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) site free to site visitors because we can pass on information about the pages that users are viewing and the personal information users provide to us (e.g. email addresses) to reputable contributing firms such as law firms who author those pages. We do not sell or rent information to anyone else other than the authors of those pages, who may change from time to time. Should you wish us not to disclose your details to any of these parties, please tick the box above or tick the box marked "Opt out of Registration Information Disclosure" on the Your Profile page. We and our author organisations may only contact you via email or other means if you allow us to do so. Users can opt out of contact when they register on the site, or send an email to with “no disclosure” in the subject heading

Mondaq News Alerts

In order to receive Mondaq News Alerts, users have to complete a separate registration form. This is a personalised service where users choose regions and topics of interest and we send it only to those users who have requested it. Users can stop receiving these Alerts by going to the Mondaq News Alerts page and deselecting all interest areas. In the same way users can amend their personal preferences to add or remove subject areas.


A cookie is a small text file written to a user’s hard drive that contains an identifying user number. The cookies do not contain any personal information about users. We use the cookie so users do not have to log in every time they use the service and the cookie will automatically expire if you do not visit the Mondaq website (or its affiliate sites) for 12 months. We also use the cookie to personalise a user's experience of the site (for example to show information specific to a user's region). As the Mondaq sites are fully personalised and cookies are essential to its core technology the site will function unpredictably with browsers that do not support cookies - or where cookies are disabled (in these circumstances we advise you to attempt to locate the information you require elsewhere on the web). However if you are concerned about the presence of a Mondaq cookie on your machine you can also choose to expire the cookie immediately (remove it) by selecting the 'Log Off' menu option as the last thing you do when you use the site.

Some of our business partners may use cookies on our site (for example, advertisers). However, we have no access to or control over these cookies and we are not aware of any at present that do so.

Log Files

We use IP addresses to analyse trends, administer the site, track movement, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. IP addresses are not linked to personally identifiable information.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that Mondaq (or its affiliate sites) are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of these third party sites. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this Web site.

Surveys & Contests

From time-to-time our site requests information from users via surveys or contests. Participation in these surveys or contests is completely voluntary and the user therefore has a choice whether or not to disclose any information requested. Information requested may include contact information (such as name and delivery address), and demographic information (such as postcode, age level). Contact information will be used to notify the winners and award prizes. Survey information will be used for purposes of monitoring or improving the functionality of the site.


If a user elects to use our referral service for informing a friend about our site, we ask them for the friend’s name and email address. Mondaq stores this information and may contact the friend to invite them to register with Mondaq, but they will not be contacted more than once. The friend may contact Mondaq to request the removal of this information from our database.


This website takes every reasonable precaution to protect our users’ information. When users submit sensitive information via the website, your information is protected using firewalls and other security technology. If you have any questions about the security at our website, you can send an email to

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user’s personally identifiable information changes (such as postcode), or if a user no longer desires our service, we will endeavour to provide a way to correct, update or remove that user’s personal data provided to us. This can usually be done at the “Your Profile” page or by sending an email to

Notification of Changes

If we decide to change our Terms & Conditions or Privacy Policy, we will post those changes on our site so our users are always aware of what information we collect, how we use it, and under what circumstances, if any, we disclose it. If at any point we decide to use personally identifiable information in a manner different from that stated at the time it was collected, we will notify users by way of an email. Users will have a choice as to whether or not we use their information in this different manner. We will use information in accordance with the privacy policy under which the information was collected.

How to contact Mondaq

You can contact us with comments or queries at

If for some reason you believe Mondaq Ltd. has not adhered to these principles, please notify us by e-mail at and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to determine and correct the problem promptly.